London: plan to clamp down on tents for the homeless

British Home Secretary Suella Braverman has caused a stir with her plan to impose severe fines on charities that distribute free tents to the homeless. Braverman explained that the legislation would target people who sleep rough as a "lifestyle choice". The response in the press is divided.

The Independent (GB) /

An absurd proposal

Braverman has once again made a show of her incompetence, criticises The Independent:

“Of course, there are some people who find it hard to stay in any kind of accommodation, to hold down a job, or to deal with problems of addiction or mental illness, and who might even sometimes say that they would rather be on the street. But to call that a lifestyle choice is absurd, and to think that the availability of tents is going to make any difference to the underlying problem is wilful incompetence.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

A shameful symbol

The Daily Telegraph praises the initiative:

“These shabby shelters are a shameful symbol of policy failure, blighting our city centres and tourist hot spots. As the Home Secretary suggests, they also risk entrenching rough sleeping by making it very fractionally more bearable. In one of the richest countries in the world, the only place for grungy one man tents — which in any case offer minimal protection from the elements and none from drunks, druggies, dogs and other dangers — is at summer festivals.”

Isabel Oakeshott